Pope Francis meets new President of Argentina

Pope Francis on Saturday morning received in audience  the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, who subsequently met with the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Archbishop  Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States.  President Macri assumed office in December, and was previously the Head of Government of the Autonomous City of…

Pastoral plan in Diocese of Sioux City aims to sustain vibrant parishes

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) — A pastoral planning process — Ministry 2025 — has begun in the Diocese of Sioux City with the hope of using limited priestly resources as wisely as possible while creating and sustaining vibrant parishes. According to Father Brent Lingle, diocesan director of pastoral planning, the diocese recently unveiled a draft…

Canadian report recommends widening access to physician-assisted suicide

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — The mentally ill and consenting minors should be allowed to choose physician-assisted suicide, a federal parliamentary committee recommended. The committee’s 70-page report was introduced in the House of Commons Feb. 25. A Supreme Court of Canada decision — known as the Carter case — unanimously struck down the Criminal Code of…

Socially responsible investors press companies to do the right thing

WASHINGTON (CNS) — If it’s spring, it must be corporate annual general meeting season. For investors concerned about corporate accountability and transparency, it’s one of the busiest times of the year. The annual general meetings give shareholders the chance to publicly engage corporate leadership on hot-button issues such as human rights, climate change, sustainability, lobbying…

CRS Rice Bowl recipe #4 – Doing more with less at Lent

For each week of Lent, The Visitor is highlighting Catholic Relief Services’ work with a story and simple, meatless recipe from a country the agency serves. Place the money saved into your CRS Rice Bowl to feed our brothers and sisters in need around the world. At the end of Lent, individuals can give their…

Knights of Columbus, In Defense of Christians mount genocide petition

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As a mid-March deadline approached for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to make a decision on whether to make a declaration of genocide in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus, based in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Washington-based group In Defense of Christians have mounted a petition campaign asking Kerry…

On climate issue, Catholics urged to ‘feel pain of the planet, the poor’

MIAMI (CNS) — Pope Francis’ right-hand man on the environment and climate change issues urged Catholics attending a local academic conference to let Christian spirituality guide their thinking and actions toward preserving the full range of God’s creation. Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, spoke Feb. 19 in Miami…

Death-row experience interweaves lives of priest, man he helped free

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (CNS) — When Father Neil Kookoothe first met Joseph D’Ambrosio on Ohio’s death row in December 1998, he intended to describe the funeral of the condemned man’s mother. D’Ambrosio would not listen, however. Another inmate had told him the priest had been a lawyer before ordination. Now, D’Ambrosio pleaded for help with…

Catholic archbishop, Orthodox leader see significance in Havana meeting

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — The U.S. archbishop who is co-chair of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation and an archdeacon who helps lead Orthodox ecumenical efforts in the United States watched with interest as Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill met in Cuba Feb. 12. Both of them — Catholic Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of…

Plan to close detention center leaves unanswered questions for advocates

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As President Barack Obama offered a long-awaited plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, organizations advocating for the closure welcomed the news and called for an end of the policy of holding remaining detainees without charges. Keeping the detention center open and holding some detainees without charges for more…